Spain is a big country and it is verrry beautiful. It has the sea and the hills and the bulls and the olives.
I have been there many times and I always stay in a little town called Alamadra, which is near the southern tip of the country.
The village is set up on a hillside that is covered with vines and olive trees. I stay in an old farmhouse cottage that looks out over the blue waters of the Mediterranean and at night when the crickets start to chirp I sit on my balcony and watch the stars.
My mother’s mother’s friend’s dog came from Spain and so it is dear to my heart. I visit there as much as I can to become one with the earth and the soil and the paella.
I like to stay on my own so that I can be on my own.
That means that I can listen to the noises of the chickens, which I love. They remind me of my mother because she used to like Roast Chicken for dinner on a Sunday. That is from my English side.
But from my Spanish side I like the siestas in the afternoon. Vita has learned this from me and always has a nap at Atlantis High. Violet never understands that she simply has to lie down after lunch and that she has to sleep for a few hours.
It is not Vita’s fault that the stupid school system means that she wakes up when everyone has left for the day. If they made all the kids have siestas then they might be much happier than they are now. And if they are happy then they will learn.
Anyway, after my siesta in Spain I get up and have a swim. It is so warm in the water there and there are no sharks swimming near your toes. And no Beanie either – he always gets in the way when I try to swim in Sunset Cove.
After my swim I sit on my balcony and let the sunshine dry my hair while I read a book by Federico Garcia Lorca. Then I get ready for the evening.
In Spain people eat their dinner at about 9 o’clock. They meet together and have a very slow dinner. There are lots of tapas, which are little dishes of food that you can share with others. Only I do not like to share.
Then I have some paella, which is seafood, and rice and it is really very tasty, even though I am allergic to rice I like to eat the paella because that is what all the locals eat and they would look at me strangely if I ordered a hamburger.
There is a lot of wine drunk with the dinner and a lot of laughter and stories. The best stories are told by the old ladies who sit in their black clothes and drip their paella into their wrinkled faces. They smile through missing teeth and tell tales of the Flamenco and the gypsies. And of the way that the olives tasted when they were young and you had to climb hills as big as Mount Everest to catch an olive and that youngsters are so lucky today that all they have to do is to reach out of their window and pluck an olive off a tree.